Or, What is a vaginal speculum and how does chemiluminescence increase its effectiveness?
A traditional vaginal speculum, made of metal or sometimes plastic, consists of a hollow cylinder with a rounded end that is divided into two hinged parts. Somewhat resembling the beak of a duck, the vaginal speculum was created by J. Marion Sims for use during examination of the vagina and cervix.
This device, pioneered in the 1840’s, has largely gone unchanged since its inception, though adoption of plastic specula, instead of sterilized metal versions, has increased outside of surgical suites. Traditionally, the speculum is paired with an external light source. External light sources include floor lamps, pen lights, head lamps and lights integrated into glasses.
The Cyalume SpecuLume adds an unrealized convenience to OB/GYN procedures as it combines the proven speculum design with an integrated, non-heat-generating light to deliver illumination directly to the examination area. Made of plastic, this SpecuLume is single-use, virtually eliminating the risk of cross-contamination.
The most novel development is the light source. Illumination is provided by the process of chemilumination – the same process that powers glow sticks. Cyalume knows a thing or two about chemical light; after all, we invented the technology.
Since then, our research and development team has spent decades making chemical light as safe and reliable as possible. Today, clinicians can perform examinations more efficiently and effectively with the help of a 100% non-toxic, no-heat-generating source of light exactly where they need it without having to position and re-position an external light source.
The light is emitted from a small chemiluminator located at the tip of the “bill.” Clinicians simply bend, shake and insert the chemiluminator to activate the process, which will provide light for approximately 20 minutes.
For OB/GYN practitioners interested in using metal specula, we also offer the chemiluminator with an adhesive backing – the OnLite. Whether SpecuLume is an all-in-one solution for you, or you’d like to integrate OnLite into your existing specula rotation, we encourage you to learn more about our products.